Le Morte Darthur Book 7

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Book 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21      Characters  Seminar  Text

Overall summary

A man comes to court, sustained by two men and asks for 3 gifts. The first is to provide him with food &c. for 12 months when the other gifts will be asks. Kay scornfully gives him the name Beaumains and puts him into the kitchen. One year later a damsel asks for a knight. B. takes up this quest as it “belongs to him”. The damsel tries to get rid of this “kitchen knave” despite his defeating several knights, drawing equal with Lancelot and being made a knight by the latter. Eventually, B. rescues the sister of the damsel. He has some further adventures, defeating knights and in the end marries Lady Lyones, reveals his identity as Gareth of Orkney in the latter parts to select people and to all in the end.


Capitulum i

Capitulum ii

Capitulum iii

Capitulum iv

Capitulum v

Capitulum vi

Capitulum vii

Capitulum viii

Capitulum ix

Capitulum x

Beaumains and the lady (the damsel) he accompanies arrive at the castle of the red knight. First fhe knight mistakes Beaumains for his brother, the black knight, but when he finds out about his brother’s death and the defeat of his other brother, the green knight, he starts to fight with Beaumains. In the end the red knight asks for mercy. Beaumains promises to save his life if the lady would beg for this. And so it happens. The red knight offers his services to Beaumains and promises to submit himself to King Arthur.

Capitulum xi

Beaumains complains about the lady’s insults he has to suffer in spite of his good service. When they come to the city of the blue knight Sir Persant, the lady prays him to flee. But Beaumains says that he would rather have five battles than to endure her offences. This impresses the lady. She concludes that Beaumains has to be of noble birth and apologizes for her bad behaviour. Beaumains accepts her excuse.

Capitulum xii

Beaumains fight with Sir Persant who asks like his brothers before for mercy and as the lady begs for saving the knight’s life Beaumains grants this. After Sir Persant offered his services to Beaumains he and the lady stay as his guests. When Beaumains lies in his bed Sir Persant sends his daughter to make love to him. When Beaumains finds out that she is still a virgin he asks her to leave, for he does not want to disgrace her or her father.

Capitulum xiii

When the lady tells Sir Persant that she leads Beaumains to the Castle Dangerous where her sister is besieged he wishes Beaumains good luck. Furthermore he reveals the lady’s name which is Linet and her sister’s which is Lady Lionesse. Sir Persant explains that the knight of the red lands who besieges Lady Lionesse’s castle could have overthrown it a couple of times if he had wished so. But instead he has been waiting for Sir Lancelot, Sir Tristram or Sir Lamerak to come in order to fight with him. Beaumains reveals his noble ancestry to Lady Linet and Sir Persant, who promise to keep it as a secret.

Capitulum xiv

The dwarf, who travels along, announces the arrival of Lady Linet and Beaumains at the Castle Dangerous. Lady Lionesse is glad about the news and sends the dwarf with food and wine to a close hermitage. Later Lady Linet and Beaumains arrive there and eat and drink. On his way back to the castle the dwarf meets the knight of the red lands. When the knight hears about the unknown knight who wants to free the besieged castle, he threatens to kill him.

Capitulum xv

When Beaumains and Lady Linet arrive at Castle Dangerous they pass trees in which the knights who tried to overwhelm the red knight of the red lands were hung. Beaumains does not get encouraged by this and blows a special horn as a signal of challenging the knight. The knight of the red lands gets prepared for the battle.

Capitulum xvi

Lady Lionesse looks from a window upon the scene. Beaumains gains courage from her look. He criticizes the knight of the red lands for his infamous actions, then both star to fight against each other.

Capitulum xvii

A the end of a long and brutal fight the knight of the red lands asks Beaumains for mercy, but Beaumains wants him to die for the sake of the shameful deaths of the hung knights. The knight of the red lands lets Beaumains know that he let them die in that way because of a promise he made to a lady he once loved. Her brother was slain and she told the knight that he was killed by Sir Lancelot or Sir Gawein. He had to promise to take revenge on King Arthur’s knights.

Capitulum xviii

Many earls, barons and noble knights pray for the knight’s life, for it would be more useful to have him pay homage to Beaumains than to have him dead. Beaumains releases him on the condition that Lady Lionesse absolves him when he surrenders to her. Furthermore he had to make amends and ask Sir Lancelot and Sir Gawein for mercy. When the red knight of the red lands comes unto the court of King Arthur he tells how he was overcome by Beaumains. King Arthur and Sir Gawein marvel at his report and wonder of which origin the unknown Beaumains may be. Lancelot assures them of Beaumains full noble blood.

Capitulum ixx

Sir Gareth wants to see Lynet’s sister Lady Lyones and rides to her castle, but she doesn’t want to let him go inside and tells him that he should wait a year to be with her, because she wants him to be one of the most popular knights and his love to be proofed. Gareth is very upset and rides away into a forest where he lays himself down to sleep. Meanwhile Lyones sends her brother Sir Gringamore to steal Gareth’s dwarf while he sleeps and to bring the dwarf to his castle, so that they can ask him some questions to find out the truth about him and his live.

Capitulum xx

After Gringamore has stolen the dwarf and rides away, Gareth recognizes his dwarf to be stolen from Gringamore and sees him riding away. So he tries to follow him but he gets out of sight, so that Gareth asks a poor old man from the country that comes along his way, if he had seen a black knight with a dwarf. The man tells him that he can be found in his castle and explains the way how to get there, but recommends him not to go there if he wants to , because Gringamore is one of the best knights, but Gareth doesn’t mind. Meanwhile Lady Lyones and Lynet ask the dwarf and he tells them that Gareth is the son a King Arthur. They are very pleased by that. Then Gareth arrives at the castle and wants to get his dwarf back. After a little conversational fight with Gringamore he finally gets his dwarf back, because Gringamore, Lynet and Lyones are very grateful for what he had done for them.

Capitulum xxi

Sir Gareth enters the castle and he and Lady Lyones fall in love with each other while spending much time together when eating and playing. Gringamore tells Gareth that Her sister loves him and he is welcome in the castle as often and as long as he wishes to. After that Gareth kisses her lady and she admits that she actually is the Lady of the Castle Peryllous and send Gringamore to steal his dwarf.

Capitulum xxii

Lyones is so happy about being with Gareth that she calls her sister to come to them, because she shared a lot of adventures with him. Then Lyones and Gareth promise to love each other and make a plan to meet at night in Gareth’s bed, but Lynet doesn’t want them to do so before marriage and makes a knight visiting the two of then in middle of the night and to make Gareth fighting with him. Gareth kills the knight and he gets hurt too, so that Lynet appears and heal the both of them by way of her witchcraft.

Capitulum xxiii

Because their love is so strong, Lyones and Gareth meet again but are interrupted by the same knight for the second time, so that Gareth kills him again and throws the different parts of his body out the windows. In that whole process he looses very much blood and because of Lyones screaming Gringamore and Lynet appear who make Gareth’s and the knights bodies whole again, so that they can move on living. King Arthur makes a big feast with many different knights. Sir Ironside appears there, Too and tells Arthur to be send by Beaumains who won the fight against him. Then he Asks Sir Lancelot and Sir Gawayne to forgive that he ever had enemy against them.

Capitulum xxiv

The both of them forgive him and want to know where Sir Gareth could be found, but Ironside is not able to tell them. King Arthur tells the knights to make all of them Knights of the Round Table to please Beaumains, when he is back.

Capitulum xxv

The Queen of Orkaney appears while they are eating and asks where to find her son Gareth, but anyone of them is able to tell her where to find him and they are surprised that they weren’t able to identify Beaumains as her son. Then they talk about many things that happened to Gareth and that they were really surprised about the fact that he didn’t show any of his richness when he came to Arthur. They agree to find Gareth and continue celebrating after the Queen told them her happiness.

Capitulum xxvi

King Arthur wants Lyones to come to the celebration and before she goes there she talks with Gareth about what to do, because he nows that it’s all about him. He doesn’t want her to tell them where to find him, but to invite them to a competition where the best night should win Lyones and her land, if he isn’t married. So she rides there and invites them. Meanwhile Gareth gets concerned about himself not being able to fight on the tournament, so that Lynets promises to heal him within 14 days. Later, the knights arrive there and have to decide if they want to fight on the castle’s or Arthur’s side.

Capitulum xvii

Then Arthur arrives with his knights and everybody starts to prepare everything. Before Gareth stars to fight he asks Lynet to make him indefinable by making him changing his colours all the time. The Lyones gives him her ring that makes him changing his colour. Then the tournament begins.

Capitulum xviii

King Arthur arrives with many knights. Beaumains (Gareth) asks his men to not reveal his identity. He is given a magical ring by Lyones which makes him lose no blood [cf. Caliburn’s scabbard] and also changes his colour. This ring also makes Lyones appear more beautiful than she really is – the ring was one from a heathen tyrant by Sir Gringamors. Jousts are commencing.

Capitulum ixxx

Jousting continues. (Note: there are apparently TWO Lancelots: ~ du lake and de Galys; Lancelot du lake is the “true” one and will remain unmarked). Gareth unhorses many and cannot be identified due to his ever-changing colour. Arthur wants to send Lancelot against him but L. declines since he suspects his identity (but does not give it away).

Capitulum xxx

Swordfights begin. Launcelot and Beaumains avoid each other. Sir Tristram (B’s side) asks and is told of Beaumains identity. While taking a rest, B. hands the ring to his dwarf and forgets to take it back.

Capitulum xxxi

The knight in yellow is now clear to be espied. Arthur sends herolds and his identity is cried out. (His name is written on the helmet [wtf?, NZ]). B. demands back his ring and is unidentifiable again. Gawain chases him to a forest, where B hides and sends his dwarf to Lyones, telling her that he will return. He comes to a castle

Capitulum xxxii

He asks for lodging and is eventually admitted but warned of the lord who is an enemy to Arthur. He promises to yield to him if it is to no disadvantage. The lord does not appear and B leaves the next morning. He defeats Sir Bendelain on his travel, killing him, and is attacked by his 20 knights.

Capitulum xxxiii

The knights cannot kill B and kill his horse. He slays 16, the remaining 4 flee. He takes one of their hoses and meets 30 widows whose husbands were killed by the Brown Knight who is now killed by B. The widows are sent to Arthur. B. encounters the Duke de la Rowse at whose castle he had lodged and defeats him; he is sent to Arthur.

Capitulum xxxiiij

B. is attacked by a knight. Lady Linet appears (now also given the name “Damoisel Savage”) and stops the fighting, revealing that it is Gawain and Gareth his brother. She staunches their wounds and calls for Arthur who comes (on a palfrey?!) with his train. Linet heals the two knights and informs her sister (Lyones)

Capitulum xxxv

A marriage between Gareth and Lyones is planned for Mychelmas, at Kynkenadon. They already exchange two rings. In future, Gareth is often seen in Lancelot’s company; he avoids Gawain, though, due to his desire for vengeance.

Capitulum xxxvi

The Bishop of Canterbury marries Gareth and Lyones; by order of Arthur, Gaherys marries Lynet, Agravayne marries Laurel, a niece of Lyones’. The defeated knights come to Gareth and assume serving positions, the adventures of B. are told. There is jousting but the newly-wed do not participate On three days Sir Lamerak, Sir Tristram and Sir Lancelot defeat 30/40/50. The coloured knights brethren are made knights of the round table and so is the Duke le la Rouse. At the end of jousts, Sir Lamerak and Sir Tristram are suddenly vanished.

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